‘Schools That Teach’ Tour Stop in Pottsville Highlights Governor Wolf’s School Funding Plan
February 12, 2015
Pottsville, PA – Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf today continued his “Schools That Teach Tour” with a stop at DHH Lengel Middle School in Schuylkill County, where he discussed his education reinvestment plan. The Governor’s proposal is part of his solution to properly fund Pennsylvania’s schools, which have suffered from $1 billion in funding cuts in recent years. These cuts have forced school districts to increase class sizes, lay-off teachers and other staff, and make serious program cuts that make it more difficult for students to get a strong education in Pennsylvania’s public schools.
The proposal, called the Pennsylvania Education Reinvestment Act, enacts a reasonable 5% severance tax plus 4.7 cents per thousand feet of volume on extraction, which is expected to generate over a billion dollars in fiscal year 2017 prior to exemptions. It is modeled on neighboring West Virginia’s severance tax plan.
Pennsylvania sits on one of the largest deposits of natural gas in the world. Other natural gas producing states, including Texas and Oklahoma, levy a similar – and in some cases higher – tax on extraction to fund key priorities and initiatives.
While the majority of the funds generated would go towards schools, the proposal would contain similar payments as those currently being made to impacted communities. It makes reasonable exemptions for: gas given away for free; gas from low producing wells; and wells brought back into production after not having produced marketable quantities of gas. It will also contain provisions to protect property owners who lease land for natural gas exploration.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Sheridan, 717-783-1116
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